Announcing the 2021 Cameo Cares Benefit for Mental Health Nonprofits
Andrew Rannells, Cedric the Entertainer and 600+ more stars join this year’s charity fundraiser from October 8–12 benefiting the National Alliance on Mental Illness, The JED Foundation & Backline
Today, we’re excited to announce our 2nd annual Cameo Cares Benefit: a multi-day fundraising event featuring exciting activations with hundreds of Cameo stars to support nonprofit organizations tackling the mental health crisis.
Featuring more than 600 participating stars, the Cameo Cares Benefit is back and better than ever.
Following the success of last year’s event — which raised nearly $1 million for Covid-19 relief — we’re kicking off this year’s Cameo Cares Benefit with a live activation at the Chicago Marathon, followed by digital fundraisers for fans across the US on October 11th & 12th. The 2021 Cameo Cares Benefit features a Cameo Call-a-thon (using our newly launched meet and greet product, Cameo Calls), special performances, live social takeovers…and naturally, personalized video messages — all from participating Cameo Cares stars. 100% of proceeds from the multi-day fundraising event will benefit nonprofit organizations providing vital mental health support for all who need it, including: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), The JED Foundation & Backline*.
The All-Star Lineup
From recent Emmy-Host Cedric the Entertainer and beloved actress Gina Gershon, to NFL legend Ricky Williams and 90s icon Mischa Barton, over 600 stars across entertainment, sports, music, comedy, activism and more are participating in the 2021 Cameo Cares Benefit:
- Cedric the Entertainer (Actor, Comedian & Recent Emmy Host)
- Andrew Rannells (Broadway & TV Icon)
- Ricky Williams (NFL Legend of the Miami Dolphins)
- GaTa (Rapper)
- Gina Gershon (Beloved Actress)
- Mischa Barton (Actress known for The O.C. and The Hills)
- Rufus Wainwright (Singer/Songwriter)
- Kate Flannery (Actress, The Office)
- Lance Bass (NSYNC Musician)
- Pierre Bouvier (Simple Plan Musician)
- Dorinda Clarke Cole (Gospel Singer)
- Bob Saget (Actor & Comedian)
- TJ Lavin (The Challenge Host)
- Cynthia Rowley (Fashion Designer)
Ways to Connect for the Cause:
From October 8 through October 12, this year’s Cameo Cares Benefit offers fans plenty of ways to raise awareness and funds in partnership with their idols:
🗓 October 8–10, 2021
Chicago Marathon Cheer: We’ll kick-off the benefit by cheering on Chicago marathoners with massive digital displays featuring Cameos from surprise stars offering words of encouragement along the race’s route on the 10th. Fans can also stop by our Cares expo booth on the 8th & 9th for more info about the fundraiser, games & swag.
🗓 October 11 & 12, 2021
Personalized Cameo Videos: For two full days (10/11–10/12), fans can book Cameo videos from more than 600 participating stars with all proceeds donated to our nonprofit partners.*
Live Social Takeovers: Fans can follow us on Instagram and TikTok to catch surprise LIVE Takeovers from Cameo stars offering live performances and sharing their own mental health experiences.
🗓 October 12, 2021
Cameo Call-a-thon: Select stars will be hosting live 1:1 Cameo Calls (our new meet and greet product) so fans can connect more deeply with their idols, get a pep talk, ask for advice…or anything else! The benefit calls will be held from 6:00pm-11:00pm ET, with all ticket proceeds donated to our nonprofit partners.*
“We know that the mental health crisis is near and dear to the hearts of the 40,000 talent using Cameo to connect with their fans; and throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen pep talks emerge among the most prolific and profound Cameo use cases,” said Steven Galanis, CEO, Cameo. “We’re excited to dedicate this year’s Cameo Cares Benefit to help support nonprofits in their fight to provide vital mental health support during a time when so many Americans are struggling. ”
Why Mental Health
Throughout Cameo’s 4-year history, we’ve seen stars and fans alike flock to Cameo to inspire each other. In fact, so far in 2021, “pep talks” are the 2nd most popular stated occasion for booking Cameo videos, with more than 10,000 (25%!) of Cameo stars creating personalized pep talk videos this year alone. Outside of “pep talks,” 2021 booking data confirms thousands more supportive video bookings with requests and keywords like: “support,” “encourage,” “motivate,” “hearten,” “morale,” “uplift,” “console,” “inspire,” and “cheer up.”
“The biggest thing I have learned in the past year is the importance of human connection,” said Andrew Rannells, actor and author of this NYT op-ed about his Cameo experience. “I didn’t realize just how important it was until I was lacking it. I am so thrilled to be working with Cameo once again to help increase mental health awareness. It turns out that even brief connections can make a big impact. They certainly did for me.”
Nearly 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the issue, so we’re directing donations to the experts. NAMI, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, connects people and families with resources at both the local and national level as well as running a free peer-support helpline. The JED Foundation focuses on preventing suicide and improving the emotional health of teens and young adults through nationally recognized programs with communities and schools. Lastly, Backline focuses on music industry professionals and their families by providing mental health resources including 1:1 guidance and support groups.
Register here to save the date for October 11–12 and check out the growing list of participating stars. We’ll be updating this in real time, so you can find the perfect star to book a Cameo video or call for yourself or someone you love!
*Full terms & conditions here.
About our Nonprofits:
NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. The NAMI community helps connect people and their families to mental health resources both locally and nationally. The nonprofit is an alliance of more than 600 local affiliates working to overcome stigma in communities with free support and education programs. They also run the NAMI HelpLine, a free nationwide peer-support service providing information, resource referrals and support for all those who need it.
The JED Foundation is a nonprofit that protects emotional health and prevents suicide for the nation’s teens and young adults. JED empowers teens and young adults by building resiliency and life skills, promoting social connectedness, and encouraging help-seeking and help-giving behaviors through nationally recognized programs, digital channels, and partnerships, as well as through the media. JED also works directly with high schools, colleges, and universities to put systems, programs, and policies in place to protect student mental health.
Backline is a nonprofit that connects music industry professionals and their families with mental health and wellness resources. Their mission is to build a safer and more supportive music industry by helping the community access quality mental health care providers that understand this line of work. This includes 1:1 case management to create personalized mental health plans, support groups and free mental health and wellness resources.